The Manila International Book Fair is an annual event, the biggest and longest-running book fair in the Philippines according to its website, and is participated in by numerous brands and sponsors. This year, it was its 37th in which it was held at the SMX Convention Center from September 14-18, 2016. Lots of people from all over the country went to enjoy discounts and freebies and also to meet and greet some authors.
As for me, though, I have been wanting to attend its event last year but I wasn’t given the chance (and free time) to do so. Luckily for me and two of my college buddies who love books as much as I do (we actually really do live for books lol), Karla and Gian, the town where our university was located celebrated its annual festival so it was declared a holiday! Days before that, we have already been so excited that we couldn’t even stop talking about the event, the books we plan to buy, how we can commute going there, etc. It’s so obvious that we really are book-lovers!
Friday, September 16, the day finally came. I woke up early and met with my lovely friends at 8:30 AM. We didn’t even mind eating our breakfasts just so we could make it there on time at 10 AM when the gates were supposed to open. We got stuck in traffic though so it was only after we ate in McDonald’s by 11 AM (we were so hungry!) and rode a jeepney going to SM Mall of Asia that we got there. There was nothing to worry though because it still wasn’t that crowded when we arrived. By that time, Karla and I started taking videos for the vlog that we were planning to make. Thank God we had Gian with us because she definitely was a great help in taking those clips!
Being surrounded by all those books, oh boy, I somehow lost myself in there. I felt ecstatic, extremely (and not even exaggerating) floating on cloud nine. I knew, of course, that by the end of the day, I could only buy what was fine by my budget. However, just the feeling of being there – standing with all those lovely books around you, seemingly whispering “buy me” or “adopt me” – was ultimately one of the best feelings. I couldn’t even begin to imagine myself having my own library that contained all those books. Really, that’s how much I love them!
After hours of walking back and forth National Book Store and Fully Booked and going around the various stalls and booths, I finally bought three books:
- Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler;
- More Than This by Patrick Ness; and
- I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson.
The best thing was that I bought them all with 20% discount each! Isn’t that just heaven? (Lol.)
I’ve been eyeing to buy the first book for about a few months since but what hindered me to do so is that I somehow thought it was expensive. Thank God for the discount because finally, (FINALLY!) I already had the money to buy it. Also, I bought More Than This because I got so curious after reading the synopsis and the reviews state that it was such a good book. Not to mention that John Green, my favorite author, tells everyone to “Just read it.” The third book, however, I wasn’t planning to buy. But because when I’ve first seen it months ago, its cover really attracted me. Before deciding that I’m finally going to buy it, I checked the reviews and its rates were almost perfect, so why not buy it right?
Despite the fact that these books were all YA novels, I am amazed at myself that I didn’t end up buying the books that I would have usually wanted to buy before. I just felt like I wanted some deeper, more relevant novels that wouldn’t just give me ‘kilig’ but also some life lessons (even philosophical questions) that would make me think critically. Before you say “but all those books seem so YA and are just romance books?!”, let me tell you that before buying them, I read some reviews that actually said that these books were so beyond the typical YA contemporary books. That’s why I even bought them in the first place.
There’s another good news! Karla and I also won an advance readers copy of the book, I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Gretchen McNeill. All we did was wait for NBS’ announcement on the quote of the day, and tell that quote to the customer service! We were one of the first people who were lucky enough to get the copy of the book. Thank you, NBS and Epic Reads!
After settling with the books that we’ve bought, Karla, Gian, and I went to search for some affordable cafes that we could stay at. Due to overwhelming number of choices though, we end up in Starbucks. (I know, I know… it’s not quite the ‘affordable’ one but who doesn’t want Starbucks, right?) We bought some frappes and took out all the books that we’ve hoarded to take a picture of our mini-book haul. People were actually looking at us like “wow, seriously? All those books?” Yep, seriously, all these books! And we were so proud of having them all despite the fact that we were almost running out of money to pay for our fares in going back home. Hahaha!
After filming some clips for our vlog, Gian already needed to go home. After she left, Karla and I decided to stroll around the mall. And look what we’ve found! It turns out that a portion of the mall was dedicated to some coffee-lovers as well! Oh, helluva beautiful day it is!
At 6 in the evening, we then met with our co-bookstagrammer, Kate, who looked dazzling even if she just experienced traffic in driving to the event. (Hi, Kate! You may check out her IG here: @thebookshark) She gave us some pro-tip saying, “If you ever found the guy who’s willing to sit with you in coffee shops just to read, don’t ever let him go” [non-verbatim]. Those words struck our hearts. We wouldn’t ever forget that.
After that, we had to go home! I went back in our dormitory with such a big smile on my face knowing that I’ve got some new books to read, some new babies that didn’t even come out of my womb. (Lol!) It was a fulfilling and exciting day and I am definitely hoping to attend next year’s event. Thank you so much to everyone who made the book fair possible. You guys are the best!
You may also want to check out our first vlog ever! Subscribe and like and I will probably love you with all my heart. Hihihi.
Here is the link: COFFEEBOOKLANDIA: Manila International Book Fair 2016 Experience
Thank you for reading, loves!
Did you also go to MIBF 2016? If so, how did it go? And if not, are you planning to attend next year? Hope to read your comments below! Thanks for reading!